Carabao Cup second round: Premier League join party, giant-killers and a bitter rivalry


Five-time winners Aston Villa take on Crewe in the second round
Carabao Cup second round
Date: Tuesday, 27 August and Wednesday 28 August
Coverage: Live commentary of Lincoln v Everton on BBC Radio 5 Live, plus commentary of all ties on BBC local radio; live text coverage on BBC Sport website and app from 19:15 BST

The Carabao Cup steps up a gear in the second round with 13 of the Premier League’s 20 clubs entering the fray.

BBC Sport takes a look at the standout games including a bitter rivalry, some potential giant-killings and the only all-Premier League tie.

The arrival of the top flight

Everton, Newcastle and Aston Villa, winners of 20 top-flight titles between them, add to the glamour of the competition in the second round.

Villa have a fine record in the tournament, winning it on five occasions, despite their last success coming in 1996.

That makes the West Midlands side the fourth most successful in League Cup terms, and they travel to Crewe having won 18 of their last 20 League Cup matches against fourth-tier opponents.

While the likes of Bournemouth, Burnley, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Norwich, Sheffield United and Southampton will also be making their bow, the clubs competing in European competition will not feature until the third round.

That means Carabao Cup holders Manchester City, plus Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves are still to come.

Brian Clough (right) won the top-flight title with both Derby and Nottingham Forest

Forest v Derby

As fractious English football rivalries go, Nottingham Forest v Derby County is near the top of the list.

Aside from the geographical proximity of the East Midlands clubs, separated by a 15-mile stretch of the A52, this rivalry is also marked out by other factors.

Brian Clough’s appointment as Forest manager in 1975 – after he had managed Derby from 1967 to 1973 – lit the blue touch paper among supporters and added to the importance of winning local bragging rights.

And in recent seasons players switching allegiance, manager clashes, pitch invasions, disallowed goals and a hatful of yellow and red cards has raised the animosity level even further.

Forest captain Joe Worrall has already called this latest instalment between the clubs a “tasty” fixture to look forward to.

Mike Flynn’s Newport beat Championship and Premier League sides at Rodney Parade last term

West Ham the latest big team to brave Newport

Rodney Parade turned into a graveyard for higher-division clubs last season, as League Two side Newport became giant-killers on more than one occasion.

Manchester City eventually dispatched Mike Flynn’s side in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but not before Leicester and Championship club Middlesbrough tasted defeat in Wales.

Newport’s only appearance in the League Cup third round came in 1962-63, but West Ham will be acutely aware of the problems they could face against a club who have history, and home advantage, on their side.

The Hammers’ last fixture against Newport was a 2-1 defeat in the third round of the FA Cup in January 1979.

However, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have progressed from 11 of their last 12 ties against fourth-tier opposition in this competition, and won 8-0 against Macclesfield Town at the same stage last season.

Lincoln v Everton

A trip to a sold-out Sincil Bank means Everton are far from being a shoo-in for the third-round draw.

Danny Cowley’s League One side are formidable on their own patch and lost just twice on their way to winning the League Two title last term.

Lincoln’s FA Cup heroics of 2016-17 took them past Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley, before their run was ended in emphatic fashion by Arsenal.

Everton met Lincoln in the third round of last season’s FA Cup, the Toffees narrowly winning 2-1 at Goodison Park, while the Imps have already beaten Championship side Huddersfield to reach this stage of the Carabao Cup.

However, while Lincoln have signed four players since last facing the Blues – including the modest acquisition of Jorge Grant from Nottingham Forest – Everton have lavished around £115m on six new signings.

And as well as a greater depth of playing resources, the Merseysiders have lost just two of their last 19 away League Cup games against sides further down the football pyramid.

Newcastle have lost their last four home League Cup ties against fellow Premier League opponents

Newcastle v Leicester – cup respite for Bruce?

After starting with two Premier League defeats, a surprise victory at Tottenham will have buoyed Newcastle manager Steve Bruce as they prepare to host Leicester in the only all-Premier League tie of the second round.

The Magpies have never won the competition but a good cup run could alleviate the pressures of the top flight.

Bruce had said his team were in the middle of “a storm” before Sunday’s win in London, and while that provided some respite, a defeat by the Foxes would damage any favour he has built with Magpies fans.

Leicester last won the League Cup in 2000 and have won their last three away matches at St James’ Park.

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